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Dendrocopos syriacus

Dendrocopos syriacus (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Ordo: Piciformes

Familia: Picidae
Subfamilia: Picinae
Genus: Dendrocopos
Species: Dendrocopos syriacus
Subspecies: D. s. milleri – D. s. syriacus – D. s. transcaucasicus

Dendrocopos syriacus (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833)

Symbolae Physicae "1828" un-numbered page, footnote 5.
Vernacular names
العربية: نقار الخشب السوري
asturianu: Picu siriu
azərbaycanca: Suriya ağacdələni
беларуская (тарашкевіца): Дзяцел сырыйскі
беларуская: Сірыйскі дзяцел
български: Сирийски пъстър кълвач
brezhoneg: Speg siriat
català: Picot garser siríac
čeština: Strakapoud jižní
Cymraeg: Cnocell Syria
dansk: Syrisk Flagspætte
Deutsch: Blutspecht
English: Syrian Woodpecker
Esperanto: Siria buntpego
español: Pico sirio
فارسی: دارکوب سوری
suomi: Syyriantikka
français: Pic syriaque
Gaeilge: Cnagaire Siriach
עברית: נקר סורי
magyar: Balkáni fakopáncs
հայերեն: Փայտփոր սիրիական
italiano: Picchio di Siria
македонски: Сириски клукајдрвец
Nederlands: Syrische bonte specht
norsk: Syriaspett
polski: Dzięcioł białoszyi
پنجابی: شامی چڑی ترکھان
română: Ciocănitoare de grădină
русский: Сирийский дятел
slovenčina: Ďateľ hnedkavý
српски / srpski: Сеоски детлић
svenska: Balkanspett
Türkçe: Alaca ağaçkakan
удмурт: Сириысь сизь
українська: Дятел сирійський

The Syrian woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus) is a member of the woodpecker family, the Picidae.


The Syrian woodpecker was first described as Picus syriacus by Wilhelm Hemprich and Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg in 1833, from a specimen collected on Mount Lebanon.[3]
Distribution and habitat

The woodpecker is a resident breeding bird from southeastern Europe east to Iran. Its range has expanded further northwest into Europe in recent years. It is an inhabitant of open woodlands, cultivation with trees and scrubs, and parks, depending for food and nesting sites upon old trees. It is often an inconspicuous bird, in spite of the plumage.[3]

The woodpecker is 23 cm long, and is very similar to the great spotted woodpecker, Dendrocopos major. The upper parts of the male are glossy black, with a crimson spot on the nape and white on the forehead, sides of the face and neck. On the shoulder is a large white patch and the flight feathers are black with white spots forming three wingbars. The three outer tail feathers show only a few white spots; these show when the short stiff tail is outspread, acting as a support in climbing. The under parts are buffish white, the abdomen and under tail coverts reddish. The long bill is slate black and the legs greenish grey.[3] The female has no crimson on the nape, and in the young this nape spot is absent, but the crown is crimson.

It differs from the smaller lesser spotted woodpecker by the crimson on the abdomen and the white shoulder-patches. It is much harder to distinguish Syrian woodpecker from great spotted woodpecker. Syrian has a longer bill, has more white on the head, and lacks the white tail barring of great spotted.[3]
Tree with a Syrian woodpecker's hole.

When hidden by the foliage, the Syrian woodpecker's presence is often advertised by the mechanical drumming, a vibrating rattle, produced by the rapidly repeated blows of its strong bill upon a trunk or branch. This is not merely a mating call or challenge, but a signal of either sex. It is audible from a great distance, depending on the wind and the condition of the wood, and a hollow bough naturally produces a louder note than living wood. The drumming is longer than great spotted woodpecker's, and decreases in volume. It is faster and shorter than the drumming of white-backed woodpecker. The call is a sharp quit, quit, softer than great spotted woodpecker, and something like common redshank.

The Syrian woodpecker's food mainly consists of those insects which bore into the timber of forest trees, such as the larvae of wood boring moths and beetles. Additional prey includes bees such as Xylocopa pubescens.[4] The woodpecker usually alights on the trunk, working upwards. During the ascent it taps the bark, breaking off fragments, but often extracts its prey from crevices with the tip of its sticky tongue. Seeds, nuts and berries are eaten when insect food is scarce. Its actions are jerky, and it hops rather than climbs, leaping forward with one foot just in advance of the other. Usually feeding in a vertically 'heads-up" position [1], it is not uncommon for the woodpecker to assume a vertically or horizontally upside-down attitude while probing a tree for food. When a space is crossed the flight is easy and undulating.
Matured chick of a Syrian woodpecker, peeking out of its nesting hole

The neat, round 5 cm diameter nesting hole, is bored in soft or decaying wood horizontally for a few inches, then perpendicularly down. At the bottom of the shaft, a small chamber is excavated, where up to 11 creamy white eggs are laid on wood chips. The hole is rarely used again, but not infrequently other holes are bored in the same tree. Almost any tree sufficiently rotten is used. The young, when the parents are feeding them, cluster at the mouth of the hole and keep a continuous chatter, but when alarmed slip back into the hole.

BirdLife International (2016). "Dendrocopos syriacus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22681127A87321554. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22681127A87321554.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
BirdLife International and NatureServe (2014) Bird Species Distribution Maps of the World. 2012. Dendrocopos syriacus. In: IUCN 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Downloaded on 26 May 2015.
Winkler, H.; Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (2017). del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (ed.). "Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus)". Handbook of Birds of the World Alive. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 11 August 2018.

Gerling, Dan, Paul David Hurd, and Abraham Hefetz. Comparative behavioral biology of two Middle East species of carpenter bees (Xylocopa Latreille)(Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983.

Gorman, Gerard (2004): Woodpeckers of Europe: A Study of the European Picidae. Bruce Coleman, UK. ISBN 1-872842-05-4.

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